Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hacking the Excitement My Brain is Feeling

If you listen to Podcasts, watch Netflix, or browse the internet, at some point you've probably come across a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk. Essentially, the Sapling Foundation hosts these conferences where leading geniuses in their fields give lectures about some really interesting theories and ideas.

Well TED recently (as of March 1st, 2013) started a radio hour on NPR and started releasing a podcast. Sometimes the subject is on something I'm not really interested in, but this week, "The Hackers" episode had me on the edge of my seat.

The episode started with Mikko Hypponen discusses "good hackers." Ones that aren't out to create viruses and steal your iTunes account information. He ended up hunting down the guys that programmed one of the original computer viruses that was distributed on a floppy disk.

Then, the one that excited me the most, Stewart Brand essentially explains how Jurassic Park might not be that far off. Essentially, if we have enough DNA of an extinct animal, we can splice that DNA with a living creature and bring them back.

He said it is likely that a 30 year old today will see the first Saber-toothed tiger born in millions of years. (Thank you tar pits) He talked about how we could bring the Dodo bird back, woolly mammoths, extinct big cats, really the list is just about endless.

He didn't say Dinosaur, but if we found a mosquito encased in amber with enough DNA, just maybe...

Then David Keith discussed ways in which we could control weather. He even offered a last ditch effort to save us from global warming that involves fitting airplanes with sulfuric acid and spraying it into the sky.

And the last talk was Andres Lozano, who discussed the history of mapping the brain and how it is possible to install little defibrillators to fight depression, Alzheimer's, and other brain disorders.

It's crazy to think that these are real things being worked on when only twenty years ago most the country didn't have internet access, and now we're discussing the real possibility of controlling weather and hacking the brain.

We're talking about futuristic stuff here people. If you aren't excited, something is broken inside of you. Don't worry though, someone is probably working on a way to hack the excitement part of your brain to get it working again.